One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A fiber resembling sisal, chiefly used for twine and paper pulp.
- ‘Baskets, mats, and hammocks are woven from plant fibers such as henequen.’
- ‘Most in this area produced henequen, an agave fibre that we know under the name ‘sisal’ and which the Mexicans nicknamed ‘green gold’.’
- ‘He is the author of ‘The Green Republic: A Conservation History of Costa Rica,’ and is completing a manuscript on the history and ecology of the Yucatan henequen industry.’
- ‘He subordinated most of a wide set of social, labor and political reforms to his overriding interest in realizing a sweeping agrarian reform in the henequen zone.’
- ‘Countless Yeomem Indians were hanged throughout Sonora, and countless more were rounded up and shipped to Oaxaca and the henequen plantations in Yucatan.’
2A Central American agave from which henequen fiber is obtained.
Agave fourcroydes, family Agavaceae
- ‘They labored on vast tobacco, sugarcane, and henequen plantations, in virtual slavery enforced by their continuing debt to the landowners.’
- ‘Potential sources being tested include soy, hemp, ramie, kenaf stems, pineapple and henequen leaves, and banana stems.’
Early 17th century: from Spanish jeniquen, from a local word.
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